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Israel Update 23.7.20



The Coronavirus National Knowledge and Information Centre reported that on Wednesday 2,032 people tested positive for COVID-19. The death toll from coronavirus-related complications since the start of the epidemic rose to 433, while 295 patients are in serious condition, of whom 79 are ventilated. Read more here


On Sunday, Israel’s Health Ministry released statistics for the week July 10-16 regarding newly diagnosed coronavirus patients and where they caught the disease. The majority (67%) caught it at home. In terms of age, the largest percentage of new cases were aged 20-29 (22%), followed by those aged 10-19 (19%). The smallest number of new diagnoses were in  those aged over 70.Read more here


The new coronavirus czar, Ronni Gamzu, a former director general of the Health Ministry who now heads the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, charged with leading the government’s response to the pandemic has spoken out against proposals to reimpose strict countrywide lockdowns as case numbers rise. Read more here




Steps are being taken to enable Israel to establish fast coronavirus  testing labs on behalf of Ben-Gurion Airport.  Read more here


Sheba Medical Centre is piloting a testing technology that is believed to be able to detect viruses in a fluid sample in less than a second.  Read more here




On July 3, Israel started to use ambulance buses (AmbuBuses) to evacuate Covid-19 patients. Each AmbuBus can carry up to 13 patients or two critically ill patients. These unique vehicles are designed especially to transport patients from nursing homes. The intensive care bus also has an oxygen exchange system that can replace all the air in the vehicle in seven minutes. Read more here




Israel is planning to bring vital medical equipment to India in the coming weeks, including “groundbreaking technologies” that could help advance the development of means to more effectively fight the coronavirus pandemic. A plane carrying a delegation of some 20 Israeli officials and scientists and tons of gear — including ventilators and novel devices that are not yet produced on a mass scale — is to depart for Delhi “in the coming weeks”. Read more here




With growing evidence that airborne virus particles are the main cause of Covid-19 infection, scientists have developed air-purifying innovations. ProtectAir’s device sterilizes indoor air by slowly releasing chlorine dioxide in tiny amounts. Aura Air’s device senses contaminants and filters out tiny particles of bacteria, viruses, pollen, mould, fungi and other particulates…A new type of air-filter that self-sterilizes and decontaminates is being developed at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Israel based on water filtration technologies. Read more here




Four terrorists carrying firebombs and an improvised explosive device were detained on their way to mount an attack, on Wednesday evening the IDF reported. Read more here




The IDF on Thursday announced it was sending reinforcements to the northern border amid the threat of retaliation by the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group over the death of one of its fighters in Syria earlier this week. Read more here




The Dutch government said Monday that it had suspended its contributions to a Palestinian organization that had used the subsidies to pay salaries to suspected terrorists. The Union of Agricultural Work Committees used the money to pay two men in Israeli custody who are standing trial for the murder of a 17-year-old girl in a 2019 terror attack. Read more here




Combining medicine, engineering and computer science, a new approach from Israel can detect — in real time — any cancer cells left in the abdominal cavity after a malignant tumour is removed surgically. The MinION  device allows doctors and patients to receive results in minutes to several hours and has been successfully been implemented in a preliminary pilot programme at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Centre. Read more here


Israeli medical startup NanoVation was awarded 2.5 million euros by the EU to develop a respiratory device based on its nano-sensor technology. Its SenseGuard wireless, wearable medical device monitors patient breathing to track conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the third-leading cause of death in the world. The device is currently in use in Israel and some EU countries. Read more here




The CorNeat KPro, the first synthetic cornea that bio-integrates with the eye wall, has received approval to begin a clinical trial involving 10 corneally blind patients at Beilinson Hospital. Additional sites are planned to open later this year in eight leading hospitals in Canada, the United States, France, China and the Netherlands. (TY Michael) Read more here


Scientists at Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre are trialling a new cancer treatment they hope could be used to remove proteins produced by malignant cells from the bloodstream and could extend  patients’ lives by neutralising cancer’s ability to block a patient’s natural immune defence mechanisms.  Read more here




Israeli company Taranis has developed artificial intelligence that helps drone cameras capture high-definition pictures of crops from the air, detailed enough to see tiny insects on lower leaves. The images can then be used to make real-time decisions about fertilizer, pesticides and cultivation. Read more here



Photos released on July 10 of  U.S. Army tanks participating in the Defence Europe exercise show an M1 Abrams main battle tank equipped with the Israeli-made Trophy Active Protection System (APS). The Trophy can intercept and destroy incoming anti-tank missiles and other guided rockets using radar to provide continuous 360-degree protection. First deployed in Israel in 2011, Trophy is the only combat-proven system of its kind currently in  service. Read more here




Israeli drones are to help Florida’s emergency response to hurricane season. Israeli startup Percepto’s Sparrow drone system has been proven to be able to withstand winds of up to 150 mph, making it suitable to fly in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes to assess damage on the ground.Read more here


Israeli-made drones will take part in rescue missions in glaciers and fjords in the Arctic Circle of northern Norway. Produced by Atlas Dynamics, the drones are equipped with technology that allows them to operate in freezing conditions Read more here




Over 120 jar handles stamped 2,700 years ago with ancient Hebrew script seal impressions were discovered at a massive First Temple-period public tax collection and storage complex being excavated in Jerusalem. The compound is believed to have served as an administrative centre during the reigns of Judean kings Hezekiah and Menashe. Read more here



Researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. helped the maker of the popular Zoom video conferencing software find and fix a security issue that could have led to successful phishing attempts. Read more here



The government on Sunday approved the advancement of the Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline project, a massive 6 million Euros venture that will carry gas from Israel’s offshore oil fields to Europe. Read more here




Those in quarantine due to coronavirus may listen to instrumental music, in certain circumstances, during the traditional mourning period leading up to Tisha Be’av, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef ruled Monday. Read more here




The Carlton Hotel, Nahariya is housing patients who had suffered more serious symptoms of the coronavirus and were on the road to recovery but still had to be isolated. Read more here